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Violence, recrimination and arrests after policeman's death in Glen View - Index of articles
MDC-T activists face murder trial: State v Madzore and others -
Court Watch 4/2012
March 11, 2012
National Youth Assembly president and party activists to be tried
for murdering police officer
v Solomon Madzore and 28 Others
trial will start this coming Monday, 12th March, in the High Court,
The State accuses
them of murdering
a police officer, Inspector Petros Mutedza, in May 2011. The
accused include Solomon Madzore, MDC-T National Youth president;
Last Maengahama, a member of the MDC-T National Council and its
National Executive Committee, who is the party’s Secretary
for Information Communication Technology Development; and two Harare
City councillors, Tungamirai Madzokere and Oddrey Chirombe. [For
a complete list of the accused please see end of bulletin.]
47 of the Criminal Law
Code a person convicted of murder must be sentenced to death
unless the court considers that there are “extenuating circumstances”
or unless he or she was under 18 at the time of the crime. Because
magistrates cannot impose the death sentence, all murder trials
take place in the High Court.
members of the public and MDC-T officials described the incident
leading to Inspector Mutedza’s death. They said that on Sunday
29th May 2011 two policemen, one of them Mutedza, who they said
was notorious in the area for harassing vendors and confiscating
their wares for his personal advantage, became involved in an argument
with a vendor and others drinking in a bar. At Glen View 3 shopping
centre. When Mutedza responded by slapping someone, a brawl broke
out in which the policemen were getting the worst of it. A group
of MDC-T youths having a barbecue nearby came to the rescue of the
policemen and stopped further beating, thereby saving the life of
The police version
was that MDC-T youth activists convened a meeting at the shopping
centre without following the required clearance procedures under
the Public Order and Security Act [POSA]. Inspector Mutedza was
part of a team deployed to the shopping centre to disperse this
“illegal” meeting. The officers were attacked with metal
chairs and bricks. Inspector Mutedza sustained severe head injuries
and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. A second officer
was hospitalised with multiple injuries.
after the incident police started arresting MDC-T activists in the
Glen View area. Arrests continued over the next few days. Glen View
residents [confirmed by Combined Harare Residents Association] described
the area as being like a war zone with an unofficial curfew and
scores of armed police harassing and arresting residents indiscriminately.
By 31st May about twenty people were being held by police. More
arrests followed until early September at which point the wave of
arrests accounted for 26 people.
3 later arrests
Much later –
on 4th October 2011 – came the arrest of the then MDC-T National
Youth chairperson Solomon Madzore [now titled National Youth President]
and Lovemore Taruvinga Magaya, a party youth activist. This was
followed on 25th January 2012 by the arrest of MDC-T’s Glen
View organising secretary, Paul Rukanda – bringing the total
number of accused persons to 29.
by Police and MDC-T
On 31st May,
two days after the incident, Police Commissioner-General Chihuri
reacted to Inspector Mutedza’s death in a speech read on his
behalf at Inspector Mutedza’s funeral: “The Zimbabwe
Republic Police shall not, and I repeat, shall not sit on its laurels
while innocent citizens of this country, let alone police officers,
are being decimated by uncouth opposition political elements in
a naïve and imbecilic attempt to make our country ungovernable.
Those who wish to live by the sword must be prepared to die by the
MDC-T from the
beginning has consistently condemned the arrests of its officials
and members on what it describes as the “trumped-up”
charge of murdering Inspector Mutedza. They accuse the police of
randomly arresting known MDC-T activists.
Lawyers at first
denied access Police denied lawyers access to those in custody.
On 2nd June 2011 an urgent application was made to the High Court
for an order compelling the police to allow lawyers access to those
being held or to produce them in court.
- The first
batch of twelve accused persons appeared in the magistrates court
on 3rd June and were initially remanded in custody on a charge
of murder. Some of them showed fresh wounds and claimed brutal
assaults by police. The magistrate ordered medical attention for
the injured and an investigation of the assault allegations.
the remaining seventeen accused were taken to the magistrates
court after their arrests during the period June to January, and
all were initially remanded in custody.
Note: Bail could
not be granted in the magistrates court because when the charge
is murder, a magistrate has no power to release an accused person
on bail – except with “the personal consent of the Attorney-General”.
That consent was not given in the present case. This meant that
applications for bail had to be made to the High Court, whose judges
have the power to grant bail in murder cases.
Court hearings for bail
- Of the 26
persons arrested by early September [20 in May and 6 others by
2nd September], the High Court released 19 on bail in July and
2 in September. One of the 19, Jeffias Moyo, found himself back
in custody in February on a charge of public violence when police
raided MDC-T Headquarters; he was denied bail on the new charge,
having regard to his involvement in the murder case.
- The remaining
7 were denied bail on the ground that they were considered flight
risks; their lawyers lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court [see
- The 2 arrested
on 4th October, Madzore and Magaya, were placed on remand on 5th
October. A bail application was promptly lodged in the High Court
but, following postponements at the request of the State, was
only heard by Justice Mwayera on 18th October. The State opposed
bail on the grounds that both accused persons were flight risks
who had contacts outside the country and that they had been on
the run for five months. On 20th October, Justice Mwayera dismissed
Madzore’s application, but granted Magaya’s. So Madzore
continued to be kept in Chikurubi Maximum Security prison. His
lawyer lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court [see below].
arrested in January this year was also denied bail by the High
Court in January – he did not appeal this.
Court hearings for bail
- The 7 whose
cases appealed against denial bail by the High Court to the Supreme
Court, were granted bail by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba on
17th February. Delays over official paperwork held up their release
until 20th February 2012. They had spent nearly nine months in
prison. Their freedom was short-lived, because on 1st March, with
the other accused, they were ordered back to prison by the magistrate
committing them for trial [see below].
- Mr Madzore
has now been in prison for over five months; his bail appeal at
the Supreme Court has been postponed.
On 1st March
at Harare magistrate’s court all 29 accused were officially
informed that the Attorney-General had decided to indict them for
trial in the High Court on a charge of murder, and the indictment
and the State’s supporting documents were served on them.
The magistrate then committed them for trial and ordered that they
be held in prison pending trial – as he was obliged to do
by law. This in effect cancelled any previous grants of bail, and
put an end to the freedom enjoyed by those accused who had succeeded
in getting bail – including the 7 who had only been at liberty
since 20th February. Following their return to prison these 26 accused,
as they were entitled to do, applied afresh to the High Court for
bail to be renewed. The hearing of this application has been postponed
four times this week, and will now be dealt with before the commencement
of the trial on Monday 12th March.
while in police custody or on remand
lawyers have used remand hearings to draw attention to assaults
suffered by many of the accused at the hands of the police and to
failures by the prison authorities to provide appropriate medical
treatment for the accused or allow treatment by private medical
practitioners. At the first remand hearing injuries sustained by
some of the accused were clearly visible. In court on 21st October
accused Rebecca Musarurwa collapsed and had to be rushed to hospital;
it emerged that she had been severely assaulted during her arrest
in May and had not recovered. In December Councillor Madzokere was
assaulted by a prison guard, but denied the necessary medical treatment
by prison authorities. Also aired at remand hearings were defence
complaints about the inhumane conditions at Chikurubi Prison, where
the accused were being held, and the treatment to which they were
being subjected by prison officials – such as two women accused
being kept, not in the female section of Chikurubi Prison, but in
the male section which houses convicted male criminals.
of Accused Persons:
MDC-T National Youth president; Last Maengahama, MDC-T National
Council and its National Executive Committee, and party Secretary
for Information Communication Technology Development; Harare City
councillors, Tungamirai Madzokere and Oddrey Chirombe. The others
– all MDC-T – activists are: Abina Rutsito, Augustine
Tengenyika, Cynthia Manjoro, Dube Zwelibanzi, Edwin Muingiri, Francis
Vambai, Gabriel Shumba, Gapara Nyamadzawo, Jefias Moyo, Kerina Dewa,
Lazarus Maengahama, Linda Muradzikwa, Lloyd Chitanda, Lovemore Taruvinga
Magaya, Memory Ncube, Paul Nganeropa Rukanda, Phineas Nhatarikwa,
Rebecca Mafikeni, Simon Mapanzure, Simon Mudimu, Stanford Maengahama,
Stanford Mangwiro, Stephen Takaedzwa, Tafadzwa Billiard, Yvonne
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